Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Shinkansen from Tokyo to Kyoto

This is way long overdue.. almost 2 months late.. hahaha.. been back from Japan mid-June but now only I'm writing about my second day in Tokyo/Kyoto..

We departed Shinjuku station towards Shinagawa station to catch our Shinkansen Hikari train to Kyoto using our JR Pass..

If purchase ticket, a return ticket would have cost ¥28,000, which is more than the cost of the JR Pass itself, so a round trip Shinkansen would have already pay off the JR Pass, a huge savings!

Boarding at Shinagawa is much easier and faster compared to Tokyo station due to the station layout.. As you exit JR Yamanote Line at Shinagawa station, just head across the terminal towards the Shinkansen entrance gates.. Tokyo Station is a mess and a labyrinth of platforms on so many levels, both JR Yamanote Line and the Shinkansen line is at extreme ends of the station..

Shinkansen gate (Shinagawa Station)

An approaching Shinkansen

For those holding JR Pass, you cannot take Nozomi trains.. I repeat, you cannot take Nozomi trains.. You can only take the Hikari or Kodama trains..

Now they all look alike, you need to check the train arrival timing on the electronic board for your train number and board at the correct platform.. There will also be signages on the train itself indication what kind of service it is..

Technically the Nozomi leave one after another alternatively on both sides of the platform interchangeably every few minutes.. Whereas the Hikari and Kodama service comes along twice within the hour, from different platforms as well alternatively..

Our first stop was Kiyomizu-Dera temple as it was just across the road from our AirBnB accommodation, and while it's still very early to check-in, we decided to just walk around and explore this grand temple first..

Kiyomizu Dera temple

People mountain people sea

The whole main hall is currently under renovations

Kyoto city

Nobody would know this.. it's off the beaten track and right at the other entrance, free entry to Kiyomizu-dera..

The famous waterfall streams, did not go and partake because of the long queue

Kiyomizu Zaka street

Magic. People all disappear!

Totally void of people

My friend from KL, and we bumped into each other in Kyoto after 15 years of not meeting! 

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